What a nation is and how they are formed have been puzzling questions for the last few hundred years. Are nations ancient or modern? Are they defined as groups of peoples based on a straightforward cultural, genetic or geographical basis? Are they simply political inventions? Perhaps some mixture of all of these.
Kal Raustiala, writing for Noema, takes a people-first approach, here discussing nations as a result of self-determination, particularly against a backdrop of post-war erosion of empire and colonialism.